When I go see my clients for the first time, they are often embarrassed and sometimes a little panicked. They've tried to declutter and organize their stuff on their own and didn't get very far. Some of them feel overwhelmed and defeated. I don't judge. It's my job to trouble shoot the problems and fix them with my clients. I know it can be hard, mentally and physically challenging work. These three tips are things I do with my clients (and myself!) and I see them successfully work time and again. So try these three fool proof ways to declutter and organize your space and you'll be on your way to a clear, calm space in no time.
1. Commit to a timeline. You can attack the chaos in a room one of two ways. The first way is to go all out, clearing your calendar, rolling up your sleeves and working until it's done. I applaud this tactic. It's fun and rewarding. It's also not very realistic for most peoples' schedules. Most of us can commit to 10-60 minutes a day to working on an area until it's finished. Either way works, just decide which way you want to do it and then declare it. Put it on your calendar. In ink. Tell your friends, family, strangers in the grocery store. Doesn't matter. Just saying it out loud is a way to make it happen. Words are powerful things. Declare it and make it so. And please use a timer. They are one of the very best organizing tools around. Trust me.
2. Minimize distractions. We have turned into technology junkies. We get a little sweaty and anxious if we're not plugged in. But if you want to get serious about making some progress decluttering and organizing your space, you need to give yourself the room to do it in. So commit to turning off your ringer, silencing your inbox notifications, close your browser and turn off the television. Then get to work. Use technology as a reward for working on your clutter or filing your paperwork. Come see me on Facebook if you need some inspiration or to tell us what you've accomplished. Just do it after you've done some work. Mkay?
3. Start big and then go small. Always, always, always, look at the space as a whole first and ask yourself: "What is this space for?" Sounds a little weird, I know, but if your dining room is crammed full of formal dining furniture that you hate and haven't used in 5 years and the room is actually used as a home office, then you need to rethink if you need that dining room furniture at all and if you should replace it with a desk, chair, floor lamps etc.. It's your home. You get to decide what it's used for. Once you figure that out, then start decluttering. You'll have a fresh new perspective of why those things belong in that room or if they need to go somewhere else (or leave your house forever!).
There you go. Follow these three fool proof ways to get you on your way and you will see a HUGE amount of progress in short order. And if you still feel stuck and need some coaching, I'm always available to work with you directly, either in person or via Skype.
Tell me, do you do any of these things already? Do you have any other non-negotiable plans of attack that you'd like to share? I'd love to hear them. Share 'em below!